The Metroid Wii’ve Been Waiting For
It’s that time again. As the evolution of game systems has continued since the first release of its hallowed Metroid series in August of 1986, every generation of Nintendo console has provided gamers with another way to don the helmet of the game’s vaunted heroine, Samus Aran. Now in the dawn of Nintendo’s most unique and interactive system, the Wii, it’s about time the universe’s most feared female makes yet another comeback.
Calling upon Retro Studios once more, Nintendo has developed what finally looks to be a game that makes good use of the whole of the Wii’s capabilities. Metroid Prime 3: Corruption looks, feels, moves, and plays like a new generation game should, letting many Nintendo fans worldwide take a long sigh of relief after sitting through so many games that promoted the Wii’s interactive novelty instead of actually challenging the system’s limits. Introductions finally aside, the Wii takes a step to embrace itself with the new generation’s version of an old favorite.
Carrying on the mythology of the Metroid series, Corruption furthers the story of galactic bounty hunter Samus Aran, putting her behind the armor of her Varia Suit once again. In this chapter of the historic Nintendo series, the game’s longstanding warrior hunts down her rival counterpart: the aptly named Dark Samus. In a fierce attack on the Galactic Federation’s base, Sector Zero, Samus is charged with the task of fighting through the melee of combat to recharge the complex’s defense systems, but as she finishes the job, she is encountered by Dark Samus and her most bitter rival, the hated Space Pirates.
Corruption revives a recurring theme in the Metroid series, the use of the Phazon. Throughout the two previous Metroid Prime titles, the Phazon was used to explain the evil behind the games’ plots, being used as the reason for the splitting of planets in Metroid Prime 2: Echoes. In Corruption, the Phazon will take on a much more involved role with gameplay, as Dark Samus’ infection of Samus with a collection of Phazon seeds becomes apparent as the game continues, changing the graphics and adding new abilities as an effect of carrying the seeds’ powers. This is also why the game carries the name Corruption, because Samus, throughout the game, becomes corrupted by the Phazon seeds. The story follows Samus as she collects new weapons and abilities in her latest attempt to thwart Dark Samus from using the Phazon seeds to corrupt planets across the universe, leading players through many levels of fast-paced first-person action and adventure that has become synonymous with the series in its most recent releases. At this stage in the game’s development, there are no multiplayer options, limiting gameplay to one player. However, with the series of delays in the title’s release, it is speculated that multiplayer abilities similar to those included in Metroid Prime 2: Echoes are being added.
After releasing a liege of games that included mediocre cartoon graphics (i.e. Wario Ware: Smooth Moves) that made no attempt to match the stunning visual effects of the Xbox 360 or the Playstation 3, Nintendo appears to have woken up their boys in development and told them to put some time behind a game’s visuals. The game operates in a first-person perspective as the two preceding releases in the Metroid series did, giving players an up-close look at their surroundings. The game’s new heads-up display is very refined and very active, bordering the top and bottom of the screen with the curves of Samus’ visor and filling the area therein with a HUD’s standards: ammunition and health displays and a crosshair, and in the bottom right corner of the screen, players can see Samus’ famed standby weapon, the Power Beam. The game’s colors are rich and vibrant; much of the game’s background effects during both in-game exploration and cutscenes give off a very solid and detailed look as the Nintendo Wii ends an awkward wait for a game that would live up to the power of the new system’s potential. The graphics show themselves best in the game’s cinematic videos, contrasting Samus well against a variety of beautiful backgrounds to create many small works of digital artistry that give salute to the era of realism with their careful shading effects. Upon finalization of the game, its visuals will run at a reported 60 frames per second, allowing for a smooth, quick flow of graphic environments as players move through the game.
Per consequence of being a Wii title, Corruption’s controls will no doubt provide a new, interactive, and unique way to play one of Nintendo’s oldest titles. The game requires the use of the Wii-mote and Nunchuk controller, utilizing the Nunchuk for movement and use of Samus’ Grapple Beam, which will now have offensive use as it can tear shields away from protected enemies, and left hand, which the player can use to grab and twist different switches and items however they may need. The Wii-mote will be used for control of Samus’ weapons, including all of her beams (which will stack upon one another rather than have the interchangeable options of Metroid Prime 1 and 2), missiles, and visors, with movement coming from use of the analog stick. Perhaps the most interesting piece of the controls is the Wii’s obscure Nunchuk controller, letting players interact with the unique piece of equipment to complete clerical tasks such as opening doors or putting Power Cells into place, while at the same time allowing for use of the Grapple Beam to suspend Samus from strategic Grapple Points. Though controls for the game are not finalized, the Nunchuk controller will be used in jabbing, turning, pulling, and twisting motions throughout the game.
Metroid Prime 3: Corruption is a Wii fan’s awaited gift. After waiting through menial releases to slowly warm gamers up to the Wii’s gimmicks and gameplay, Nintendo has finally opened the cage that kept the Wii’s capabilities in secure captivity. With a full spectrum of visual spectaculars and fun, interactive gaming, this latest addition to the Metroid saga will be one that reminds old gamers of the attributes that made the series in its infancy and excite new gamers with its overhauled concepts of movement and play. It looks as if Nintendo will uncover another gem upon the release of Samus’ newest adventure, bringing a great adventure to Wii players everywhere and finally piercing a cloud of speculative doubt and curiosity about the system’s ability to support any kind of serious or dramatic play. Corruption will be a must have for any fan of the series or of its new home, the odd child of console gaming, the Nintendo Wii.
May 9, 2006 – The Metroid saga continues on Nintendo’s new system and wii all get to enjoy it. Nice. It seems the Galactic Federation’s Base Sector Zero is under attack by Space Pirates. Samus must boot up the generator to restore the defense systems. But at the end of her path, someone awful is waiting for her. My first guess is Carrot Top, the terrible comedian, but my gaming instincts tell me it might be Dark Samus.
Using the Wii-mote and the Nunchuk, players will experience a First Person Shooter like never before. We saw some of the game in action at the Nintendo press conference and we could definitely tell that the control scheme will not only be incredibly unique but also intuitive.
Nintendo released some artwork and screens, although for the life of me I can’t see why they’d ruin the above screenshot with an inset picture of some poser holding the controller.
Corruption is currently under development by Retro Studios, who were the team behind the previous Metroid Prime games on the Cube.